Stephen wanted to be a chef, so he got a job at a diner. One day, JWU alum Josef Desimone, who happened to run Facebook’s kitchens, came in. “He took me aside and said, ‘If you want to cook, you need to go to Johnson & Wales University.’”
Stephen stayed in touch, and eventually landed a culinary internship at Facebook to play with ever-changing menus, new techniques and flavors profiles from all over the world.
But first, he made the choice to come to JWU. Here’s why:
Q&A: Why JWU?With Stephen Owens '13From Red House, West VirginiaCulinary Arts majorHow did you come to love cooking? My mom worked in the evenings. I started cooking stir-fries for myself, and they actually came out pretty well. I’d always loved to cook.But there weren’t a lot of opportunities at home — there’s no food culture. My first job at a country club was a real eye-opener. I started to understand how good cuisine can be. When did you know “I want to be a chef?” I started working at the Buffalo Diner. Chef Billy Desimone gave me a lot of creative freedom. We began cooking more experimental, creative stuff on the weekends. I was working 16 hour days, but totally loving it. Why JWU’s Charlotte Campus? I love how diverse Charlotte’s food culture is. I’m always trying out new things.
I went from a small town with no culinary culture to an incredibly diverse one. It was eye-opening.
I learn about different cuisines in my Culinary Arts classes, and then I try them out in Charlotte. I couldn’t do that at home.What’s next? I’d like to travel the world and experience different cultures. No matter what, I want to be able to share and teach. If you stop learning, that’s when you’re in trouble.
Where will your Culinary internship take you?Find out at our College of Culinary Arts.
Stephen felt prepared for his culinary internship at Facebook’s California headquarters. “The menu changes every single day, just like in my JWU classes.” read more
JWU grad Josef Desimone rarely got to cook. He was too busy developing cafés for Facebook’s offices worldwide — and leading a team that prepared 7,000+ meals/day. read more